Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why I'm a Libertarian - with reviews

I'm a Libertarian. Have always been, and will always be. I'm a peace-loving fighter for liberty, for all who want it.

Following is one of this month's editions of The Liberator Online. (It comes out twice per month.) In it you'll find reviews of books, a fr*e download or two, reasons why we, as Americans, should be scared sh*tless by the political, environmental, and economical mess, in our country - and why no president/politician can, or will ever be able, to fix it - unless we change our ways, and thinking.

My stand will most likely land me in one of the 800+ fully-operational concentration camps right here in America for being a "dissident". I'm not a dissident. I'm not anyone anyone should be afraid of. However, I am a firm believer that we need to get back to living up to our Constitution and Bill of Rights as they were written by our forefathers.

So, here it is. Read on if you love freedom. Read on if you love liberty. Read on if you think this country is headed straight to hell if we don't change our ways.

In This Issue:

The passing of Marshall Fritz.... Walter Williams asks: "What 'laissez-faire'
capitalism?".... Victims punished -- for being robbed.... They're ALL
"redistributionists".... Dismantle and disarm anti-freedom slogans.... 40%
discount on "The Best of Harry Browne".... and much more!

THE LIBERATOR ONLINE

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Vol. 13, No. 18
Circulation: 69,503 total subscribers in over 100 countries.
The world's largest-circulation libertarian publication!

Published by the Advocates for Self-Government
Edited by James W. Harris | Email: james@TheAdvocates.org

Want to read the enhanced HTML version of this LIBERATOR ONLINE? Just click on:

http://www.theadvocates.org/liberator/vol-13-num-19.html

SUPPORT the world-changing work of the Advocates! Please see:
http://www.theadvocates.org/letter-from-sharon-november-08.html
or call us toll-free at 1-800-932-1776.
We have some great "Thank you!" gifts waiting for you!
___________________________________________

"The World's Smallest Political Quiz [is] one of the freedom movement's most
recognized and effective outreach tools."

-- Congressman Ron Paul, Congressional Record, April 15, 2008
___________________________________________

CONTENTS

PRESIDENT'S CORNER
* Marshall Fritz, my hero, mentor and friend
* Save 40% off "The Best of Harry Browne" -- and help the Advocates!

WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES
* Advocates President quoted in leading environmental newspaper
* LAST CHANCE for the 2009 Freedom Cruise -- PLUS, DISCOUNTS!

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS
* Shocking Bailout Numbers
* Robbery Victims Punished -- For Being Robbed
* What "Laissez-Faire Capitalism"?

QUICK SHOTS: Vote for the "redistributionist" of your choice... Regulations
equal a second income tax... John Stossel bemoans the cult of the presidency...
Conan O'Brien says "we're totally screwed..."

PERSUASION POWER POINT #258
* How to Dismantle and Disarm Anti-Freedom Slogans
by Michael Cloud

ASK DR. RUWART
* How can we help Africa?

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP
* Telling How Libertarians Are Different from Liberals and Conservatives
by Sharon Harris

PRODUCT REVIEW
* * The Best of Harry Browne: You save over 40% -- and help the Advocates!
___________________________________________

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

Dear friend,

By now you have probably heard the sad news: Marshall Fritz -- Advocates
founder, creator of the World's Smallest Political Quiz, and legendary
libertarian activist -- passed away last week after a long and courageous
battle with pancreatic cancer. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by
family.

There is much more information about Marshall, including photos and personal
tributes and rememberings, at our Web site:
www.TheAdvocates.org

If you haven't yet, I urge you to visit that site and learn more about this
remarkable man.

I have lost a mentor, hero, and dear friend.

We mourn the passing of a truly great man, renowned for his enthusiasm,
devotion to truth, and love for liberty.

We celebrate a life that was a grand adventure that touched millions of people
around the world.

And we will honor his memory by continuing to build the Advocates for Self-
Government, the organization he created, and to advance the great cause of
liberty to which he devoted his life.

* * *

Welcome to 108 new Liberator Online subscribers this issue. Thanks for joining
our subscription "family" of almost 70,000 liberty-loving readers in more than
100 countries!

To learn more about the Advocates and our work for liberty:
http://www.TheAdvocates.org

To learn more about libertarianism:
http://www.Libertarianism.com

-- Sharon Harris, President | Email: sharon@TheAdvocates.org

PS: We have a very special, limited-time offer for you: Save 40% on "The Best
of Harry Browne!"

Take advantage of this, and you'll get...

* Harry Browne's last published book, LIBERTY A-Z. (A $13.95 value.)
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* Harry Browne's insightful speech, "The Seduction of Force," on CD. (A $10
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All of this is yours for only $20 (plus shipping and handling).

This is a $33.95 value -- so you save $13.95. That's more than a 40% savings on
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Act today! This offer is good through November 27, 2008.

To order, or learn more, see "Product Review" at the end of this issue. Or
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Your purchase supports the great work of the Advocates. Thank you!

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WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH THE ADVOCATES

* ADVOCATES PRESIDENT QUOTED: Sharon Harris was quoted in an article in
Environment and Climate News, the excellent and highly influential pro-market
newspaper published by the Heartland Institute. The article, "Schools Cut Back
to Four-Day Week," concerned efforts by government schools to deal with rising
energy costs. Harris went to the core of the problem: government central
planning.

"What's interesting about this story is that it points out just how inflexible
government bureaucracies are," Harris said. "It's always difficult to make any
changes in the system. If we had more parental choice in education, we would
immediately see the benefits. There would be more and quicker innovations and
improvements.

"Families are different from each other, with different interests and different
needs," Harris added. "If we had a free market in education, we'd see many
choices -- not just in locations of schools but [also] in hours of operation
and in curriculum."
http://www.heartland.org/publications/environment%20climate/article.html?article
id=23936

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__________________________________________

GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS, UNBELIEVABLE NEWS

by James W. Harris

Brain-Boggling Bailout Boondoggle Numbers

How much has the government thrown down the bailout rathole... so far?

The Reason Foundation's Anthony Randazzo has added it up for you.

However, before you read further, consider this warning from Randazzo:

"A word to the wise: get some duct tape to wrap around your head, 'cause these
numbers all together are gonna make it explode -- if it hasn't already."

Okay, you've been warned. Strapped it?

Here goes:

* $29 billion for Bear Stearns
* $143.8 billion for AIG (thus far, it keeps growing)
* $100 billion for Fannie Mae
* $100 billion for Freddie Mac
* $700 billion for Wall Street, including Bank of America (Merrill Lynch),
Citigroup, JP Morgan (WaMu), Wells Fargo (Wachovia), Morgan Stanley, Goldman
Sachs, and a lot more
* $25 billion for The Big Three in Detroit
* $8 billion for IndyMac
* $150 billion stimulus package (from January)
* $50 billion for money market funds
* $138 billion for Lehman Bros. (post bankruptcy) through JP Morgan
* $620 billion for general currency swaps from the Fed

ROUGH TOTAL: $2,063,800,000,000

Yes, over $2 trillion dollars. As of November 7.

That's about $6,800 for every man, woman, and child.

About $15,000 per taxpayer.

And actually, it's even worse.

Randazzo adds: "This doesn't include the hundreds of billions the fed has and
will buy up in commercial paper and lend out to other financial firms. The
deficit is nearly $440 billion this year, and the national debt is $10.5
trillion.

"If these numbers don't shake the next Congress into becoming more fiscally
responsible, probably nothing will."

(Source: Reason Foundation:
http://www.reason.org/outofcontrol/archives/2008/11/how_much_have_w.html }

* * *

Robbery Victims Punished -- For Being Robbed

When someone fills his tank at a gas station and then drives away without
paying, that's a crime. No one would argue with that.

And a new law in Shreveport, Louisiana is threatening those involved in that
crime with heavy penalties, including stiff fines and even jail time.

The only problem: those facing this punishment are... the gas station owners
and employees who've been robbed.

Say what?

Recently the Shreveport city council passed a law requiring gas customers to
prepay before fueling up. The idea was that this would reduce gas thefts.

However, some gas stations didn't like the law, because it inconveniences
customers and adds to employee workloads.

So to make sure all stations obey the law, the council added a stiff penalty.
Attendants and owners face fines and even jail if a gas theft happens while
they're on the job. Business owners can be fined $250 for the first offense,
$500 for the second.

Says the law: "If convicted a third time, [owners] must pay up to $500 and face
up to six months in jail. Owners won't be charged if the policy is publicly
posted for employees."

That's right: the council says a robbed station is itself partly responsible
for the crime. And if they can't catch the robbers, at least they can track
down and punish the... victims.

"This is the wrong way to get crime statistics down," said city councilman
Monty Walford, who opposed the law. "I frankly think that it's not government's
place to tell a business how they have to collect money. Are we next going to
ask grocery stores to require a deposit before you go in?"

Careful what you say there, Walford. Don't give your fellow council members any
more ideas.

(Sources:
http://www.shreveporttimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080916/NEWS01/809160
346
http://thisiscommonsense.com/2008/10/15/the-crime-of-being-robbed/ )

* * *

What "Laissez-Faire Capitalism"?

As the economic crisis continues, we're constantly hearing critics blaming
America's alleged "laissez-faire economy" for somehow causing it.

For example, the New York Times recently declared: "The United States has a
culture that celebrates laissez-faire capitalism as the economic ideal."

Baloney, says renowned economist and syndicated columnist Walter Williams:

"First, let's establish what laissez-faire capitalism is. Broadly defined, it
is an economic system based on private ownership and control over of the means
of production. Under laissez-faire capitalism, government activity is
restricted to the protection of the individual's rights against fraud, theft
and the initiation of physical force. ...

"You can decide whether we have an unregulated laissez-faire economy. There are
15 cabinet departments, nine of which control various aspects of the U.S.
economy. They are the Departments of: Transportation, Housing and Urban
Development, Health and Human Services, Education, Energy, Labor, Agriculture,
Commerce, and Interior.

"In addition, there is the alphabet soup cluster of federal agencies such as:
the IRS, the FRB and FDIC, the EPA, FDA, SEC, CFTC, NLRB, FTC, FCC, FERC, FEMA,
FAA, CAA, INS, OHSA, CPSC, NHTSA, EEOC, BATF, DEA, NIH, and NASA.

"Here's my question to you: Can one be sane and at the same time hold that ours
is an unregulated laissez-faire economy?

"Better yet, tell me what a businessman, or for that matter you, can do that
does *not* involve some kind of government regulation.

"A businessman must seek government approval for the minutest detail of his
operation or face the wrath of some government agency, whether it's at the
federal, state or local level. Just about everything we buy or use has some
kind of government dictate involved whether it's package labeling, how many
gallons of water to flush toilets or what pharmaceuticals can be prescribed.
...

"{T]here is massive government control over our economy."

Dr. Williams goes on to point out, as we have recently done in past issues,
that the crisis was not caused by the market, but by enormous government
interference with the market -- again, precisely the opposite of "laissez-faire
capitalism."

(Source: Walter Williams:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=80027 )

* * * * * * * *
QUICK SHOTS...

* VOTE FOR THE REDISTRIBUTIONIST OF YOUR CHOICE: "Sen. John McCain's
fulminations against President-elect Barack Obama's socialism or infatuation
with redistributing wealth were as risible as would be former President Bill
Clinton lecturing Pinocchio on the evils of mendacity.

"For the last century, both the Republican and Democratic parties have embraced
the morality if not the economic wisdom of the progressive income tax and
government spending to redistribute wealth. The parties differ in inches as how
much redistribution would be morally or economically optimal."

-- Bruce Fein, constitutional scholar and Associate Deputy Attorney General
under President Reagan:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/nov/11/redistribution-blather/

* FED REGULATIONS = A SECOND INCOME TAX: "Federal regulations cost Americans
almost as much as the income tax and more than 40 percent of all federal
spending, according to 'Ten Thousand Commandments,' the Competitive Enterprise
Institute's annual report on the burdens of federal regulation. Federal
environmental, safety, health, and economic regulations cost more than $1
trillion a year in addition to the costs of official federal spending."

-- Heartland Institute: Government's "10,000 Commandments"
http://www.heartland.org/publications/budget%20tax/article.html?articleid=23879

* THE CULT OF POLITICS: "It's exciting that the world is so excited about
Barack Obama. I'm excited, too. That he achieved the presidency says something
good about America. ... But the excitement also frightens me. It reinforces the
worst impulse of the media and political class: the assumption that all
progress comes from Washington. In a free society, with constitutionally
limited government, the president would be a mere executive who sees to it that
predictable and understandable laws are enforced. But sadly, the prestige and
power of the presidency have grown, and liberty has contracted. That is not
something to celebrate."
-- libertarian journalist John Stossel of ABC's 20/20
http://www.creators.com/opinion/john-stossel/the-road-to-serfdom.html

* TOTALLY: "Today, at his first press conference as President-elect, Barack
Obama said America will succeed if we can put aside partisanship and politics.
Nice. Yeah, in other words, we're totally screwed." -- Conan O'Brien, Nov. 7.

* * * * * * * *
"Good News, Bad News, Unbelievable News" is written by Liberator Online editor
James W. Harris. His articles have appeared in numerous magazines and
newspapers, and he has been a Finalist for the Mencken Award, given by the Free
Press Association for "Outstanding Journalism in Support of Liberty."
___________________________________________

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PERSUASION POWER POINT #258

How to Dismantle and Disarm Anti-Freedom Slogans

by Michael Cloud

"The word 'slogan' comes from the old Gaelic word 'sluaghairm,' and means 'the
war cry, or gathering word, of a Highland clan in Scotland; hence, any rallying
or battle cry,'" wrote Bernice Fitz-Gibbon.

Slogans galvanize groups -- and move them to action.

Sometimes slogans serve good causes. Often they don't.

Anti-freedom slogans are used to shut down independent thinking. To silence and
intimidate individuals who disagree.

What can you do to disarm anti-freedom slogans?

Translate them.

You've heard the phrase, "lost in translation."

When it comes to slogans, the truth is *found* in translation.

Consider this John F. Kennedy slogan: "Ask not what your country can do for
you;
ask what you can do for your country."

Here's what Robert Ringer found when he unpacked, analyzed, and translated it:

"Let's analyze this brilliantly conceived slogan carefully and logically. First
of all, what is a country? It's a geographical area composed of -- in the case
of the United States -- over 200 million individuals. I've never asked 200
million people to do anything for me, except not interfere with my right to
live a peaceful life. Ask what you can do for your 'country?' Does this mean
asking each of the more than 200 million individuals what you can
do for him?

"No, individuals are not what Kennedy or any other politician has ever had in
mind when using the word 'country.' A country is an abstract entity, but in
politicalese, it translates into 'those in power.' Restated in translated form,
then, it becomes: 'Ask not what those in power can do for you; ask what you can
do for those in power.' You wouldn't respond quite so eagerly if it were
phrased in its true form, would you? On the contrary, you might laugh in
disbelief." (Quoted from Looking Out for Number One [1977] by Robert Ringer.)

Want to try your hand at unpacking, analyzing, and translating
collectivist/anti-freedom slogans?

Here are a few:

* "Taxes are the price we pay for civilization." -- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

* "Yes, we can." -- Barack Obama.

* "If we can send a man to the moon, we can establish universal health care."

* "Why can't we run government like a business?" -- numerous politicians

* "It's not an issue of big government or small government. It's an issue of
smart government." - Barack Obama

* "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." -- Derek Bok

* "The end of welfare as we know it." -- Bill Clinton

* "The National Debt: We owe it to ourselves." -- Anon

* "We have a trade deficit." -- numerous

* "A government of the people, by the people, and for the people." -- Abraham
Lincoln

* "My country right or wrong."

* "A lifetime of public service."

Try your hand at unpacking, analyzing, and translating these slogans.

Test your answers on others. Family, friends, and co-workers.

If your translation works, if it dismantles and disarms the slogan, your
hearers will stop using the slogan -- and will pass it on to others.

It just might wipe out the anti-freedom slogan.

Because you made sure the truth was found in translation.

* * * * * * * *
Michael Cloud is author of the acclaimed book "Secrets of Libertarian
Persuasion" available exclusively from the Advocates:
http://www.TheAdvocates.org/secrets.html

In 2000, Michael was honored with the Thomas Paine Award as the Most Persuasive
Libertarian Communicator in America.
___________________________________________

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___________________________________________

ASK DR. RUWART

Dr. Mary Ruwart is a leading expert in libertarian communication. In this
column she offers short answers to real questions about libertarianism. To
submit questions to Dr. Ruwart, see end of column.

* * *

How can we help Africa?

QUESTION: What would be the libertarian response to issues in Africa? How can
we effectively help the extremely poor and sick?

MY SHORT ANSWER: The short-term way to help the poor and sick in other nations
is to contribute to private organizations that target those you want to help.
Some work to improve sanitation, a major cause of disease. Some provide medical
care. Others link needy children to sponsors in wealthier nations. Still others
provide small loans for "mom and pop" businesses. With a bit of Internet
research, you can determine which organizations are worthy of your support.

The long-term way to help the poor and sick is to demonstrate how they too can
become prosperous and healthy. Cutting back government spending, regulation,
and taxation is the surest way that any nation can become rich (for details,
see my book, "Healing Our World." The 1992 version is available as a free
download at www.ruwart.com; you can buy the 2003 edition there or from The
Advocates.)

The freedom enjoyed in the U.S. in earlier years was a beacon of hope to
impoverished nations, giving them a blueprint to their own prosperity.

In recent years, the U.S. has moved away from the principles that made it
great. Restoring liberty in our own nation will show others the way to end
their own poverty and pain.

LEARN MORE: "Betrayal: Why Socialism Failed in Africa" by George B. N.
Ayittey. This is a short essay from the Foundation for Economic Education:
http://www.fee.org/pdf/notes/NFF0505.pdf

The libertarian Independent Institute posted this incisive review of two
excellent books by African free-market advocate George B. N. Ayittey. The
review summarizes his work and gives links to his books:
http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=341

* * * * * * * *
Got questions? Dr. Ruwart has answers! If you'd like answers to YOUR "tough
questions" on libertarian issues, email Dr. Ruwart at: ruwart@theAdvocates.org

Due to volume, Dr. Ruwart can't personally acknowledge all emails. But we'll
run the best questions and answers in upcoming issues.

Dr. Ruwart's previous Liberator Online answers are archived in searchable form
at: http://www.TheAdvocates.org/ruwart/categories_list.php

Dr. Ruwart's outstanding books "Healing Our World" and "Short Answers to the
Tough Questions" are available from the Advocates:
http://www.TheAdvocates.org/Merchant2/merchant.mv
___________________________________________

ONE-MINUTE LIBERTY TIP

Telling How Libertarians Are Different from Liberals and Conservatives

by Sharon Harris

Recently, Liberator Online editor James W. Harris was trying to think of a way
to explain libertarianism to a child. The child, though smart, was ignorant of
most political concepts.

He thought over his usual stock of answers, and found them lacking in this
situation.

Finally he came up with something like this:

"Liberals and conservatives both believe the government should force peaceful
people, at gunpoint if necessary, to live the way *they* think they should.
Libertarians are against this."

He followed that with a more familiar libertarian definition:

"We think people should be free to do as they wish with their lives and
property, as long as they aren't harming anyone else."

The first paragraph of his definition is one I'd never heard before. There are
several useful things about it.

* It makes libertarians stand out distinctly from all other political
viewpoints.

* It puts non-libertarians in the position of defending and justifying their
advocacy of violence. This is a valuable switch, as usually it is libertarians
who, right from the start, find themselves in the position of defending the
elimination of various government programs.

* It is a definition that immediately invites a nod of agreement and
appreciation. Most people, after all, don't consciously advocate the initiation
of force, and don't realize that's inherent in liberalism and conservatism.

* It makes libertarianism sound downright moderate and reasonable. The
immoderate, unreasonable ones are those who would use violence to force
peaceful people to live the way they think they should. They are the bullies;
we are the ones who defend them against the bullies.

Every libertarian should have an excellent answer memorized for this common
question, "What do libertarians believe?" (You can find some suggestions at
http://www.libertarianism.com/definitions.htm

This particular formulation is not a perfect answer for all occasions, by any
means. But it may be a useful addition to your libertarian communication
toolbox.

* * * * * *
Sharon Harris's One Minute Liberty tips are archived at:
http://www.theadvocates.org/one-minute.html
___________________________________________


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